Drew University’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Washington, D.C. for their season opener this past Saturday, Oct. 15. Excitement and nerves ran high throughout the day as the Rangers got ready to kick off their competitive season against some of their toughest opponents.
Both the men’s and women’s teams faced off against the Catholic University Cardinals, one of their biggest conference rivals and their closest competitors at last February’s Landmark Conference Championships. While the women’s team narrowly beat Catholic in a historic championship win last season, Drew’s men’s team finished second to the Cardinals in both of their meetings last year. Everyone at the meet was anxious to see what the Rangers would accomplish in the pool after their hard-fought results from the previous season.
The men’s team put up a phenomenal fight against the Cardinals, coming home with the win after an incredibly intense meet. The Rangers were neck and neck with the Cardinals throughout the majority of the meet. Those in attendance could barely stay in their seats; the atmosphere was rife with suspense.
The tie came down to the last event, the 200-freestyle relay, with the Rangers leading the way into the race. Catholic took first place, earning 11 points for their team, but Drew touched second and third, securing the 6 points they needed to pull back in front. The Rangers won the meet by one point, with a score of 146.5 to 145.5.
Drew’s men’s team put up a variety of great swims throughout the meet, winning several events, including a sweep of the distance races. A few swimmers helped lead the way to the Rangers’ victory securing multiple first place finishes. Yan Zheng Lew (’25) won three individual events, winning the 1,000-freestyle by 18 seconds in a 10:23.65, as well as the 100-butterfly and 200-butterfly. Another significant contributor to Drew’s success was Finn Armitt (C’24) who led the Rangers to a 1-2-3 finish in the 500-freestyle, putting up multiple second place finishes over the course of the meet.
Unfortunately, the women’s team was unable to bring home a second win as they ended up losing to Catholic with a final score of 192 to 99. Despite the tough loss, the Rangers fought to the last race, putting up a couple of first and second place finishes and recording a number of impressive times, considering the event was their first of the season.
Katie Cashin (C’23) led the Rangers in scores, coming first in both the 200-butterfly and the 200-IM. Cashin was followed by several teammates who placed second, including Sam Trodick (C’25), who finished second in the 100-breaststroke and 200-breaststroke. For diving, Chayse Mercer (C’26) finished an excellent second place for the Rangers.
It was a tough meet overall for both the men’s and women’s swim teams, but nevertheless exciting to watch. Drew’s swim and dive teams will compete again in a few days against Montclair State University, giving the Rangers a chance to secure more wins.
Featured Image courtesy of Brendan Burkett of Yan Zheng Lew (’25).